Improving Energy Efficiency in Buildings for Ensuring Sustainability: The ACCEPT case
Improving Energy Efficiency in Buildings for Ensuring Sustainability:
Energy use in buildings all over the world is growing at a steady rate. However, due to the growing scarcity of energy sources, the world is now talking about the possible ways to reduce the consumption of energy in buildings. It has been proved that technological advancements can ensure cost-effective energy savings in buildings. For instance, using sustainable energy, intelligent infrastructure and digitisation, it is possible to improve energy efficiency and ensure sustainability. Many successful programmes are being introduced worldwide to save energy in building construction process. ACCEPT is one of those programs. The goal of The ACCEPT project funded by EU is to ensure the proper usage of the energy-efficient components during the building construction process using innovative technologies.
How Improving Energy Efficiency in Buildings Can Ensure Sustainability
Energy is used in buildings for different purposes, including cooling, ventilating, cooking, lighting, refrigerating, heating, and operating mechanical and electric devices. As income levels per capita continue to grow and cities continue to modernise, this use of energy is also increasing. However, as one-third of global energy is being consumed by commercial, residential and public building, energy savings have become crucial, and various steps are being adopted worldwide to ensure the efficient use of energy in buildings. For instance, companies are being increasingly conscious in using improved design and construction techniques that reduce the load of heating, ventilating, cooling, and lighting. In addition, they are trying to focus on replacing and upgrading energy-using equipment. All these measures can reduce the consumption of energy in buildings and eventually ensure sustainability.
Use of Technology in Ensuring Energy Efficiency in Buildings
Technology can bring wonders in ensuring energy efficiency in buildings. Novel electronic devices and appliances are now being associated with the Internet for providing data at real time. This has made it easier to understand and lower the use of energy. Using wireless sensors and automated control systems, it has become possible to boost home energy efficiency. Using highly insulated windows that use microprocessors and sensors, efforts are being made to save energy and money by adjusting shading automatically based on time of day and the available sunlight for ensuring proper lighting and overall comfort. LEDs have also come a long way to ensure energy efficiency in buildings.
Perspectives from ACCEPT Project
The ACCEPT project focuses on finding the most efficient ways to use smart glasses and smartphones so that the site manager can provide the necessary guidelines to the workers on site when needed in order to standardise and coordinate the overall activities and also to enhance the overall efficiency and productivity of the construction works. Through this project, efforts will be given to improve the energy performance of buildings through providing sophisticated quality assurance tools, like the newly-developed apps running on mobile devices and smart glasses which will be used by different stakeholders during the construction process. This will ensure the appropriate knowledge transfer between the stakeholders, who will be able to reduce the mismatch of energy performance between the design and commissioning stage. Ultimately, energy efficiency will be guaranteed in the construction process.
At present, the results of the project are being tested in real construction sites in Spain, Belgium, UK and Cyprus. For instance, in Cyprus, EPITESSERA Architects is implementing this project in the new Newham Building at the English School in Nicosia using developed prototypes, which are being used by the site manager and workers for workflow monitoring and reporting respectively.